Maren Donovan has a good write-up on The Point of Having Money. Her description is sound. I will add something to it. If you have ever lost everything you had or accumulated, once or twice (4 or 5 times in my case), your relationship with material things change. You look at material things differently. Also, when you go through hard times or have a lower perceived social status, you see truer expressions from people and in social situations that teach you more about reality. Next, you decide that if you happen to do better financially one day, the causes you will support, the lifestyle you will have, or the experiences you will pursue may be pretty much what Maren Donovan has described.